Okay, parents, by show of hands: In the week since your children have been home, have you found them dressed in their bathing suits in the morning and babbling something about “polar bears” that you’re fairly sure is camp lingo for something that involves water although you haven’t figured out exactly what or its relation to early a.m. hours? Have they wandered out of their rooms asking if recall has blown yet? Stood in the middle of the kitchen staring blankly at the stove and refrigerator before asking if there was going to be a salad bar with the meal? Asked if waterskiing was being offered during rest hour and could they make smoothies in cooking? Attempted to employ some sort of self-invented complex formula to determine whether they’re more likely to be on the blue or white team for Olympics next year? Come home from school and asked if they can go back to camp? If so, there is no need to panic. They just have a case of campsickness. All campers—and many staff members—get it around this time of year. Even us!
We have to admit that on the last day of camp, we’re all gunning to see home—the one at which we spend the ten months we’re not at camp. Of course, we love camp. We’ve aptly covered that in previously blogs. But there is just something about the sight of home and family after being away for a bit that is irresistibly tempting. Then we get home. We say hello, we catch up on our television shows, we have a nice meal at our favorite restaurant, we take a long soak in a tub full of bubbles, we talk non-stop about camp for several days, we even style our hair the way it was meant to be, and then…we eye that big pile of laundry we just pulled out of our camp trunks and realize no one is coming to pick it up if we stuff it into a laundry bag and set it outside. We look in the refrigerator and realize the kitchen staff went home, too. We look at our messy rooms and realize no one is going to treat us to Alyce’s if we clean them. We look outside, see no waterfront, and are forced to face the reality that paddle boarding is not on our schedule for today. Neither is ceramics or gymnastics. In fact, there is no schedule for the day. Camp is over. For ten more months, there is no more coming together at lineup and hearing ‘Have a great day!’ before we all rush to our circles. There are no more Jason Glick Pull Bys. No more sibling sundaes, hikes to Oz, evening activities, Olympics, or Wayne County games either. That’s campsickness.
Unfortunately, coming back to our “other” home involves revisiting everything we miss about our camp home. It’s an adjustment to be sure. School has either begun or is about to begin for most and everyone, including us, will settle back into their winter routines. The children will begin to wake to the sound of their alarm clocks, they’ll stop putting on their bathing suits as soon as they wake up, they’ll open the refrigerator to look for food, and they may even continue to clean their rooms. They probably won’t stop talking about camp, though. To those of us who live 10 for 2, the leaves changing color, the weather cooling, the skies getting a little grayer, snow falling, and spring bulbs blooming are more than a change of seasons. They’re all signs that we’re that much closer to the summer of 2013, and talking about the summer of 2012 makes it seem a little less far away.